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Metta World Peace: Marcus Smart can Learn from Fan Incident

Metta World Peace and Marcus Smart

By Cliff Brunt

Knicks forward Metta World Peace believes Marcus Smart can learn from the fallout that will come after Smart shoved a fan during Oklahoma State’s game at Texas Tech.

If anyone would know, it’s the player formerly known as Ron Artest.

In 2004, Artest infamously ran into the stands and attacked a Detroit Pistons fan who he thought threw a beer on him. Artest was suspended for 73 regular-season games and the playoffs before being traded the next season.

Late in the game at Lubbock, Texas, Smart confronted Jeff Orr after the Texas Tech super fan appeared to say something to the All-American guard. Smart shoved him with two hands, and teammates quickly pulled Smart away as he pointed back in Orr’s direction. Smart was issued a technical foul and did not play the final seconds of the game.
No decision on a punishment for Smart has been made by the Big 12 or Oklahoma State.

Texas Tech is still investigating, trying to speak with people who were in the area around Smart and Orr when the altercation occurred.

“We are conducting a very thorough investigation, trying to collect everything we can,” Texas Tech spokesman Blayne Beal said. “We are in conversations with Mr. Orr.”

There are no fan-behavior guidelines printed on Texas Tech basketball tickets, Beal said, but the school follows the Big 12’s sportsmanship policy. Before each game the public address announcer reads a few sentences about sportsmanship that includes that inappropriate fan behavior will not be tolerated.

World Peace said Smart — who is projected to be a high NBA draft pick — might benefit from learning how to deal with obnoxious fans at age 19, before he becomes a pro and millions of dollars are on the line.

“Just in general, I heard the kid is pretty good and a potential pro,” World Peace said. “So those types of challenges on the court when you’re playing and fans are rooting against you — that was a great lesson learned, so that hopefully when he does become a pro, he’ll be able to kind of withstand the fans that are rooting against him on the road.”

World Peace also said Smart needs to learn to control his energy.

“I think that emotion and that fire could be directed towards winning on the court instead of directed other ways,” he said.

World Peace said more guidelines should be in place for college fans because college players don’t get paid. He said fans should have more leeway at NBA games.

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